News flash: teeth are essential to eating and talking. That’s why we have them. But to most people, they aren’t just a piece of machinery that helps the rest of our body function. They feel personal, almost like a friend. This really becomes most apparent when we lose them. Luckily, there is a way to get them back, one that is safe, effective, and carries a 98% success rate.

What Are Dental Implants?

To put it simply, dental implants are one of the most effective tooth replacement methods out there. If you’ve lost one or more teeth, dental implants allow you to replace them in a way that feels the most natural. Dental implants work through osseointegration and are composed of two major components, the metal implant, and the custom-made crown. The actual implant is similar to a screw made of titanium, a metal known to integrate with the bone.

What Is the Dental Implant Process Like?

The dental implant process begins with oral surgery. We implant the dental implant into the bone where your natural tooth used to be. After the implant has been surgically inserted into the jaw bone, bone tissue begins to fuse with the metal, creating a secure connection very similar to our natural tooth roots.

Depending on the condition of your jaw, we might be able to put a dental crown or bridge on your implant immediately. This means your smile will look whole the same day as your implant procedure, even if it’s the same day as your extraction procedure.

The whole healing process takes between 3-6 months, and in that time, you’ll wear a temporary crown or bridge. When your body has fully integrated with the implant, we will construct a custom-made permanent crown that will match your natural teeth in appearance and function. Because crowns are made out of medical ceramic, their luster matches natural tooth enamel. They’re also resistant to stains and chips!

Dental Implants Are Fully Fixed in Your Mouth

Before dental implants, traditional tooth replacement methods were non-permanent fixtures like dentures, which tended to slip out of your mouth, and looked unnatural. Dental implants are fixed in your bone, similar to natural teeth. They won’t slip or move out of place.

Dental Implants Let You Bite and Chew Normally

Since dental implants are fully fixed in your mouth, you can use them to bite and chew normally. You will be able to enjoy all the foods you ate with your natural teeth. If you’ve had poor oral health for a while, you’ve likely given up some of these foods already, but with dental implants, you’ll be able to eat them again.

Dental Implants Are Easy to Care for

Care for dental implants just like you care for your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and make regular dental visits. Dental implants are shaped differently than natural teeth, so it might take a little while to get your flossing routine down. Some people find they do better with interdental brushes or a water flosser. However, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find it’s just as easy as caring for your natural teeth.

Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime

We honestly don’t know exactly how long dental implants can last. No studies are long enough to show an actual lifetime for dental implants reliably. However, we know it’s longer than 30 years, and some people have had dental implants in place and functional for more than 50 years.

There is a caveat: this is the lifetime of a dental implant. The crowns and bridges on the implant might not last as long. Some designs of dental bridges might last more than 30 years with minor repairs or adjustments every ten years or so. Expect single tooth crowns to last as long as they do on natural teeth: usually 10-15 years, but sometimes longer.

Should You Consider Dental Implants in Wichita Falls?

Dental implants are a fairly involved procedure, but one with major benefits. Losing teeth can not only affect the appearance of your smile, but it can also affect your jaw. That’s because the process of jaw maintenance is started by jaw stimulation, and when certain teeth are missing, this stimulation never occurs. Over time, this can lead to bone loss in the jaw. Dental implants provide the needed stimulation so you can maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.

If you’re considering dental implants, consider whether you’re a candidate. If you think you might be a candidate, schedule a consultation with an implant dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX. There, you can discuss in detail any concerns you may have about the procedure and can go over your medical history with your dentist. Here

Do you want to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment with an implant dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX.